Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

Hey, just what the aitch ee double hockey sticks are Jews anyway?

Are they a religion?

Are they an ethnicity/race?

Are they a bloodline/seed of Abraham?

Are they a culture?

Are they a nation?

I saw a black guy - like black-black. Like blaaaaaack. And he told me he's an Ethiopean Jew I was like whaaaaa?


@ Mccan

So you can quit being a Jew like you can quit being a Christian?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most people get this wrong. It's really an abstraction. There are many definitions, and no connecting common denominator. At least not one that's a central part of anyone's identity.

    The Jewish mother thing is absurd. How do you know the Mother is Jewish - if your Grandmother is Jewish? But how do you know... as you can see, according to this logic the only people who would know they are Jews are the converts!

    And the notion that you're not allowed to leave the tribe unless you convert into another religion is bullying nonsense. It's all about the freedom for self-definition. I would say you're a Jew if you feel it's a strong central part of your identity and you can gather enough of a consensus from fellow Jews. This gets a little important if you live in Israel...

  • The closest analogy would be that the Jewish people are a nation. Like a citizen of a nation, you can be born a Jew, or you can become "naturalized" by converting. Converts certainly aren't limited to a race or group of races; indeed, the who concept really doesn't work.

    Being Jewish is not necessarily a religion; there are many atheist and secular Jews.

    I suppose you could say we are of the bloodline/seed of Abraham; those who are born of Jewish women would be, and those who convert to Judaism are "adopted" in a sense, and look to Abraham and Sarah as matriarch and patriarch of the family.

    While there are certainly cultures that are distinctly Jewish, one doesn't HAVE to follow those cultural traditions to be Jewish.

    The only way you can come close to ceasing to be a Jew is by espousing another religion; even atheist Jews are still Jews, unless they subsequently accept another belief. Even then, they are always free to return to Judaism.

    There are indeed black Jews (Ethiopian Jews are just one group), just as there are Jews of every race on earth. Any child of a Jewish woman is a Jew, so if a Jewish woman marries a man of a different race than her own and bears a child to him, that child will be Jewish. In addition, converts of any race are welcome, and the children of female converts are Jewish.

    Source(s): Me - Jewish woman with a considerable amount of Native American ancestry.
  • 9 years ago

    It's a religion but people get confused because some of them come from Israel, which makes them think Judaism is a race.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I got the aitch ee double hockey sticks thing.

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